Thursday, December 15, 2005

To All My Friends With a Net Worth of Over $10 million

Private Banking is the business of the day. For some reason, a very large wealth management institution is very interested in me becoming a private banker. Now, if you've seen my resume, and you probably have because I like to hand it out at dinner parties and boy am I a dinner party kind of guy, you'll be scratching your head right about now. Let's see, technology, supply chain, customer service, ..., ..., ... . Nope, don't see any finance. Let's check his education. Political science, Japanese, business, strategy, economics, ..., ..., ... . Nope, no finance. So how does this experience turn into private banking? Is this very large Swiss organization secretly profiling me at the networking events I've been going to? What about my blog? If so, they know I'm a great communicator. I mean seriously, is there any doubt about my verbal and linguistic skills? It is all very mysterious.

So I went to the first round of interviews. Two guys, one in the business and one HR. I gotta tell you, that I was on fire. I'm not sure what happened. My stuttering went away. I never said um. I was the King. All that buildup of communication jujitsu came out in one huge burst. I just hope I have something left for the interviews that I really care about.

Yes, I have been invited to the second round. Yes, I'm going. Yes, I'm still puzzled. I even asked what exactly they saw in my resume. I mean, it is dazzling, but it's not finance dazzling. Maybe that super nice paper that Liz made me print them on had something to do with it.

So people. All of you with a net worth of over $10 million, make sure we keep talking. Supposedly this fine Swiss institution has the secret to 8% annual returns, with a sigma of 3. Now that is impressive. I'm clueless about finance, but looking at my investments over the past 10 years, I'd kill for 8% annualized. Maybe I can just have them give me the secret and then I'll be on my merry way.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


As you can tell, my mind and hence my writing, wander quite a bit. I've written about running, the subway, politics, school, and now food and drink. Red Bull probably wasn't the best way to introduce my new topic, but like I said, my mind wanders. My organizational skills are lacking. I sure hope that I remembered to delete this site from my email signature. "Hi, I'm looking for a job. Here's my bad ass resume. Oh, ignore that link at the bottom. Look, I'm running a $125 million business. Beavers, what? Hey, over here. Stern MBA. Much suffering for learning's sake. Let me draw you a picture of one of the 100 frameworks I've learned about. Wait, wait, that wasn't me wiping my butt with my bare hand. It was someone else. I know EQUATIONS. EQUATIONS!" Crap, struck down by the online gods again. Speaking of which. One more droll recruiting anecdote before I start to talk about why I'm really here, which isn't just to ramble.

Yes, I'm going through the recruiting process. I like my job. I'm not dissatisfied with it, but you never know what's out there until you go out there and Stern does one thing fairly well. Networking and recruiting for experienced professionals. So I went to one of those events and am schmoozing, telling every recruiter there how exciting his/her company is and how I'm such a great match and have skills to die for. Basically lying for two straight hours. You get the picture. Make lots of contacts and then follow up the next day with resume submissions, phone calls, etc. Fun you might think. Not really, but this is what I've been programmed to do. Well, I receive a reply back from one of the recruiters and he is very interested to continue our discussion (of course he is - I just made myself out to look like a demi-god). Well, when I open his email, I'm wondering why within his reply is another email I had sent to a different recruiter from a different firm. You guessed it. Gmail chaining. It's a known bane, but in my eagerness to show that I would be responding within the requisite 24 hours, I must not have noticed that little detail. Yes, I was sheepish. Particularly because these two recruiters represent two very different companies, both of which are under the impression that I am only for them. Not anymore. At least one of them knows that I am what in recruiting terms is defined as a (cover your eyes small children) job prostitute. I'm not picky. Just give me the money and I'll take you higher than you've ever been. Unless you've done heroin. Which I haven't.

Ok. That was exhausting. Do I really want to go into the reason why I initially felt my muse coming on? Not really. Time to start the day. I'll get back to you in two weeks. As a reminder to myself, as well as a teaser for all of my adoring fans, I'll just tell you that my next post will be about silky smooth goodness, with a little habanero thrown in for good measure.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Red Bull

is ill. I've heard people sing its praises, but that might be because they are mixing it with alcohol. I guess beer goggles apply to taste as well. This stuff is nasty. And it was $2.99. Dad, I'm not sure why you drink this stuff. Just get a Dr. Pepper or a Mountain Dew if you need a caffeine rush. Soda is 50% less and actually tastes good. Red Bull tastes like really bad cough syrup.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Consecutive Day Surprise

If I could wrap this gem in a bow and hand it to you I would. People have come to expect twice a month entries and I've tried not to mess with those expectations, but today is a special day. It's consecutive post surprise day, something I haven't done in a long long while. Why is it consecutive post surprise day? It's the day prior to five days without work or school. I'm going to sleep, play with Zane, play with Liz, and try not to use my brain. It will be wonderful.

Ok, so aside from my witty remarks above, I do have something to say. I've been considering switching sides. Not in a gay way, but in a political way. I've been a libertarian, anything goes political junkie, for quite some time. The problem is that even though anything goes, this side of the political spectrum is quite boring and with me, it's all about entertainment. If I never read a right-wing blog again, it will be too soon. Sure, they are right, but damn, they are dull. Trolling over at Kos, Eschaton, the Rude Pundit, etc and hot holy hell am I laughing my tookus off. Seriously, these people have fun with their politics.

I want to stomp my feet, wave my hands in the air, froth at the mouth and scream. That's my definition of fun. Sitting in the library coldly typing about the theory behind why the individual is the most important entity in politics is ... wait, I'm searching ... still searching ... don't feel like opening a thesaurus, but don't want to use dull or boring again. Well, you get the point.

Wait, dreary. That's a good word and yes, I cheated. And just so you know, I have gone to the wingers' blogs, where they do like a good hoedown, but I can't stand the stupidity, the illogic, and overall obtuseness. I need intelligent mania.

Ok. My muse has left me. It must be this conference call that I'm on that is headed into its fourth hour. This call and the right definitely have something in common. Kos, here I come. Pass me a sombrero.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Two Slices

Toasted of course. Yes, I had a delicious sandwich the other day. Two slices of toasted gluten-free bread, with deli-sliced turkey, mayo, spicy mustard, two kinds of cheese and lettuce. Never has a sandwich been so good.

I don't really remember if I've mentioned that I have Celiac Disease. Basically, it's an allergy to all things containing gluten. That means wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Let me break it down. That means, no pasta, no bread, no pizza, no Key Lime pie, no German Chocolate cake, no oatmeal with fresh honey, no twice baked cookies, no delightful chicken parm' heroes from Smiling Pizza in Park Slope, no meatloaf sandwiches that my Grandma Egerer has perfected. Essentially, my diet sucks.

Well, yesterday, I had a little bit of heaven. Liz has always been very aware of my disdain for all of the imitation products that act like delicious gluten-containing foods, but that I've very loudly stated taste like kaka. Liz found a bread for me that doesn't taste like kaka. I'm crying now. I wish you could see it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The fact that this site has gone from a hardcore running diary to a complaining session has not gone unnoticed by myself. Well, now we're switching gears. This has now become the refrigerator report card. Yes, I received a very unexpected 89 on my Corporate Finance mid-term, well above the mean. This is funny to me as I haven't really understood what's going on in that class until the past week and a half when I actually started reading the book and using the frameworks...for a different class. I've come to realize that Stern does know what it's doing when it sets up its curriculum. I've even begun to use accounting and although I'll never be a fan, I have seen glimpses of the beauty that is a financial statement. Ah, Monte Carlo. I need to go there sometime.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dance Little Sheep

I'm not posting this picture for any other reason than my site looks very bland. As you might know, I'm blandness's biggest enemy. If something is bland, be it food, a book, scenery, school, music, whatever, then I'm going to go to war. Literally. If Liz is cooking chili and I reach in for a taste test and it's bland. Out comes the red pepper. (Don't tell her, please.) If a class is bland, I'm bound to take a little nap, with my eyes open of course. I've perfected the technique.

Financial Statement Analysis - bland - sleep time.
Corporate Finance - somewhat bland - sleep time during figuring out the beta of debt, but waking up for real options
Competitive Strategy - lectures - bland - sleep time. Presentations while the crazy red-socked professor, who told us he likes to smoke a joint Friday nights on his porch in East Hampton, rips the presentors to shreds - not so bland, almost entertaining.
History of Finance taught by an Oxford professor - spicy, riveting - no sleep. Immigration will solve all our woes and the death of globalization is nigh.

Anyways, blandness is bad. Anything but boredom. I would have made a great emperor. Now dance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This Is Not The End

I'm sorry if I scared some of you and made you cry by my previous post. I'm not abandoning my blog. I wouldn't do that to such a treasure. Liz, Zane, and VTOLing are all up there at the top of the importance list. Work, baaaa! School, double ba baaaa! VTOLing, I love you. You are my soul's retreat.

So I've been reading mindless drivel before I get my usual four hours of sleep. Just finished the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I read those books when I was a kid. Gotta tell you, I was a smart kid, with a big time D & D imagination. I remember one time wishing that the pie tin that was sitting in my backyard was a spaceship that would whisk me away to a place full of wizards, dragons, and fair maidens. I think I stood wishing, staring out of the back window of my house on LaDonna for a full 45 minutes. I think this was after I set fire to my neighbor's house. Yes, I was and still am disturbed.

V E N G E A N C E!!!

Monday, October 24, 2005


I realize that I have lost whatever momentum I ever had with this thing and that my readers, all three of them, are long gone. Them's the breaks. I wish I could help you out. I know most of you. Just call me. I'll probably forward it to voicemail and never call you back, but you never know.

If anyone knows how to quantitatively measure risk using marginal contribution and salvage rates, let me know. My brain hurts.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

100% Dumb

Yes, I'm an idiot. My continual public self-flagellation might appear strange and you might think it is some form of catharsis, but it's not. That's just who I am, a self-torturer. Who wouldn't be after the example this government has set? Torture is fun. Everyone join in.

Ok, so here is why I'm not the brightest bulb in the box. First week of class this week for the fall semester. By the way, that one week break between Financial Statement Analysis and this week was sorely needed. Why am I doing this again? Ah, yes, the supposed pot of gold that will supposedly be coming post-May 4th. I have been slowly convinced otherwise, but we'll see. Rambling again sorry. No sleep and I think my son gave me pneumonia. Back to dim-bulb boy.

Monday and Tuesday went well. Well, Monday didn't. I decided to take the red eye home from Arizona, with a 1 year old who decided to wake up and scream his head off with about 90 minutes left in the flight. Upon landing, we went home and I logged in and worked for the day. Then I went to class, Corporate Finance. It's still a little hazy and I don't remember much. Tuesday was much better. Competitive Strategy. Going to be a good class. A lot of work, but work that I'll definitely use going forward. That brings us to Wednesday. Supply Chain Management. Again, a very exciting class. Seriously, I have been looking forward to this class all summer. I showed up, having read the case and ready to rock. I sit down and the professor starts by talking about how this is the second session. I'm completely confused. Second session? Am I in the wrong class? Nope. Prof's name is on the slides and it's definitely supply chain. I take a closer look at my syllabus. Apparently this class started last Wednesday. You may point your fingers at the screen and screech now.

Apparently, Monday and Tuesday classes started this week, but Wednesday and Thursday classes started last week. So I missed the first class last week of the course that I've been looking forward to all summer and had no idea I was missing it. You'd think that being an MBA student at Stern, I'd have learned to read by now. Apparently not. Well, at least my idiotness was only known to me.

It wasn't to last for long. So the professor is talking about inventory and shows some industries with their inventory ratios. He asked if anyone was in those industries. I was and raised my hand. He called on me and asked what my ratio was. I said 85. He gasped. He was very impressed, as was the class. They immediately labelled me an outlier as I was heads and shoulders above the industry average, which is around 7. The funny thing is that I gave 85 because I thought initially he was asking about inventory turnover, which when you plug in 85, is downright horrible. My actual inventory ratio (COGS/average inventory) is around 3, which is why I'm in this class. Yes, I am a fool. I still don't know how I was accepted by this fine institution. I hope they never find out that I am in fact not an Eskimo.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Truth

I'm a dork. A geek. A big time nerd. The gelled spikey hair might portray a GQ male supermodel, but deep down, I just can't get away from my dorkness. This blog is just further evidence of this. Aside from teenage girls screaming for attention, who keeps an online diary? Look at me, look at me, I'm a dork. Possibly even worse, I'm a dork screaming out for attention.

My sister is getting married next week in the home country and of course I will be there. After the festivities, I'll be there for another seven glorious days of Mexican food, something that New York is getting better at, but still has a ways to go. All other cuisines, New York does better than just about every city in the world, but for some reason, good Mexican is difficult to find, aside from this little tamale stand in Sunset Park. It's a sad day when I make the best menudo within a 1000 mile radius.

During my time in the motherland, I will of course be visiting with friends and in all likelihood playing video games. It's who I will be playing video games with. I will be playing video games with people that I have known for years, but only hung out with two or three times. That's right, video games with my fantasy sports league friends. Double whammy. These are again, guys I've met and might have even played volleyball with a couple of times back in the day, but people that I've only gotten to know since the establishment of several fantasy sports leagues post-moving to New York. They are my online fantasy friends. And we will be playing video games. I'm not sure if I should just shake their hand and give them the stone faced glare that I do so well or if we should kiss cheeks New York style. I'll have to check the online dating sites to see what proper protocol is.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Do Not Hump

On the way into the city this morning, my train stopped at a train yard to let one of those super fast diesel commuter trains rush on by. I looked out the window and saw a flatbed car sitting there with a bunch of walkway side railing tied to the top of it. Painted in white stencils was the phrase above. It wasn't graffiti. It had a very official look. I would have taken a picture, but my camera phone doesn't have a zoom function. I've resisted the temptation to google this and am throwing it out to my readers. What exactly does this mean? Don't google it. I'll know if you do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Dark Side

If any of you have a positive image of myself that you would rather not have change, please discontinue reading now.

I am a small 'l' libertarian. What this means is that I annoy conservatives because I don't believe in legislating morality (i.e. drugs should be legalized, gays should be able to marry, etc) and I annoy Liberals because I believe that the government's job is to stay out of the way (i.e. end all entitlements, abolish the income tax, etc). Why am I telling you this when I have striven so hard to keep politics out of this site, aside from my favorite links? Because a girl called me stupid this weekend and it filled me with glee. A glee that I'm still buzzed from as sad as that may seem.

I had the unfortunate experience of being required to go to school last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am to 4pm each day. The official title of the class was Professional Responsibility, but the content was about the market, ethics, and law. The first two days were a bore as the pharmaceutical kids took over. I wasn't interested in arguing about the drug industry's creation of diseases and their 'public service' announcements to raise awareness of this awful state in order to find consumers for their drugs (i.e. anxiety disorder and Paxil - c'mon, who isn't anxious?) or in the glorification and funding of breast cancer research at the expense of other diseases that kill many more Americans, but just aren't sexy enough. Pardon the pun.

What I was interested in was in our discussions of the third day of insider trading, which I think should be legal (the price of the stock reflects the true value due to insider knowledge, as well as being practically unenforceable Martha aside), corporate negligence aka tort, and in universal human rights, which is really a misnomer as there are no such things.

I won't go into all of the fun little arguments I had that day. Let's just get to the girl who called me stupid. We're talking about universal rights, which I've already stated are relative to society and that until a market fails, the only rights a person has are the ones granted by the government. Once the market fails and people no longer accept the current state of things, political will and action changes the rules and additional rights are granted. Rights, not being inherent, but granted. As you can imagine, this annoyed some of the bleeding hearts in the class. I heard many a sigh. Yes, I was beginning to giggle.

The professor then posed a hypothetical situation where a U.S. company owns a factory in another country. Above the exit to the building is a large sign that states that anyone caught stealing will be turned over to the authorities and punished to the full extent of the law. Inevitably, you catch someone stealing. You turn him over to the police. The police take the person outside and shoot him in the head. What do you, as the owner of the company, do? Many comments such as leave the country, dock a person's pay if caught stealing, etc were given. I raised my hand. The professor, at this point was smiling because he knew what was coming. I said to change nothing. Keep the rule as it exists. Everyone in the factory saw the thief shot. The likelihood of someone stealing again is zero.

It was then that this girl said I was stupid. No argument. Just a playground retort. I simply laughed. No greater compliment can be paid a debater than to insult rather than argue. I'm still smiling, but it's an evil smile.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Liz's photoblog
My favorite is the most recent pic. This is how Z looks everyday when I come home. Sometimes he stomps his feet and shakes because he's so excited. Yes, I love it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It Will Not Subside

Items on my mind that probably deserve entries of their own, but due to my poor writing skills and memory, will only receive bulleted entries:

- "You know?" This phrase turns my stomach. What's worse is that it has entered into the Mike lexicon. I shiver every time it escapes my mouth.

- Chaffing. Last Saturday, I went running on a horse trail (Yes, a horse trail in NY. This is Westchester, albeit the West Side.) in 100 degree heat with 90% humidity. I meant to run 6 miles, but had no idea where I was going and ended up running 8. I wouldn't normally run on a day like that, but it was Saturday and I had only run once that week and I guilted myself into it. I did want to eat ice cream that day. Let's see, one bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup is about 1000 calories (four scoops). Running eight miles took care of that. Anyways, sidetracked again. Sometimes I really don't know how I am able to tie my shoes. Ok, unsidetracked. I ran in that miserable weather and sweated quite a bit. Arrived home, headed for the shower not knowing the pain that was about to commence. Turned on the water and stepped in. Liz heard the screaming. She probably thought I had hit my head on the toilet seat again. No, no toilet seat. Just the water coursing down my body to the unmentionable/taint/chode. Apparently, it was rubbed a little raw.

- I've been wondering why my pants have been so tight. I'm down to 151 and yet my pants are as tight as ever. I discovered the culprit the other day. Apparently fat on my body congregates between the top of my butt and my lower back. It's kind of hidden so that when I stand up, you can't see it. It's only when sitting down that it pushes up and out on my pants that it is noticeable. It's very sad. What do you call this portion of your body? The bass?

Ok, this has turned into a gripe session. I swear, I'm normal, even-keeled, and not prone to mood swings. Maybe this all is coming out because I'm not running enough. Running is usually the way I eliminate all of the negative vibes. Or I could just need a new crystal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Muse Cometh?

Sometimes my muse comes, sometimes it doesn't. Forgive me for my long spells of no writing. I'm sure both of you are devastated. You see, the problem is that my muse only comes during peace, tranquility, and not worrying about $100 million projects that people seem intent on sabotaging. Oh, wait, no work talk. I don't want to get dooced.

So lately, the muse hasn't been around. Lately, I've barely had time for running. Running three days a week is a major accomplishment these days. If I haven't told you already, and I probably have, but don't feel like checking my archives, my goal of breaking a three hour marathon is on hold until after I graduate May 4, 2006 at 9pm. Oh what a sweet day that will be.

Sorry for the pause. I was mumbling again. Something about how the $36k coming out of my own pocket better being worth it. (Thank you employer for picking up the remainder). I learned how to mumble effectively from she who shall remain nameless. It's an art really. Just loud enough so that the person knows you said something, but not loud enough for the person to understand. Then the feigned look of innocence and the loud pronouncement of, "Nothing". I use this technique at work all the time when I don't know what I'm talking about, which is often. It's amazing how far mumbling can take you when you're ambitious, but don't have any skills. I've made a list of times where mumbling is a requirement. I might share it sometime.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Freak Indeed

Brian, if that was you pretending to be slutty Brittany, bravo, well done. I always knew you had a little she-male in you. Just to let you know, I'll be running with my shirt off tonight. Me and my donut. It's not quite a spare tire yet.

New book. No, Simple Rules for a Complex World is not a self-help book, a book about how to make money, or a book about how to make people like you. It's a book about law, about how in a more complex world, we need a simplified set of laws. Very libertarian. Very Cato Institutish. John Rawls, you've met your match.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Window Cube, My Window Cube

Yes, I have graduated to the window cube. Not only do I get a window that looks down at Water Street, but it's bigger than my old cube. Now I get to watch what the two people in front of me are doing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Science and Smoke

You'll notice that I'm on my second book of the week. Already finished up Harry Potter. No spoilers here, but I was a little disappointed in the quality of the writing. The story is still solid, but this book felt like filler and the end wasn't that dramatic. It was more of a "That's it? That's how it ends?" type of ending.

Freakonomics won't stay on the list for long. I started it today and have only read it on the train to and from work and I'm already half done. Very well written. Engaging style. Great questions. Great anecdotes. Questionable science. If you read it and judging by its sales, you probably have, don't take what Levitt has written as 100% fact. If I hear one more person tell me why the crime rate dropped, I'm throwing something.

Running, something I haven't written about in a while. I'm up to 15 miles a week. I'm slow as hell, but my knees don't hurt that badly anymore. On a 4 miler yesterday, I was struggling to run a 7:30 mile. It's tough being the slow kid. We're in a new ward and my bishop is an ultra-marathoner that routinely runs sub-3 hour marathons. Did I tell you he's in his mid-50s, has six kids, and practices international law? Not sure where he gets the time to train, but I'll tell you one thing. I'm going to smoke him when we race in the fall.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

If This Guy

doesn't stop smacking his lips, I'm going to have to open a can. Who chews with their mouth open? Who chews with their mouth open at work? Who chews with their mouth open at work, making horrible sounds for hours at a time? He's going down.

This is what 94 degree heat with 90% humidity does to a man. It unleashes the inner animal.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


New York never ceases to surprise me. Actually, let me take that back. The surprises have ceased being surprises. One fine summer afternoon I walked outside and wasn't surprised at being surprised to see this.

My first thought was, "How am I going to make it across the street to Mr. Softie for my afternoon butterscotch sundae with these cowgirls and horses (the Calgary Stampeders) blocking the sidewalk?" Once I discover my path, it is only then that I say to myself, "You know, 25 cowgirls in frayed chaps and bright red boots riding horses up Wall Street doesn't happen every day. Maybe I should take a picture and call my brother-in-law, who hails from Calgary, and tell him that Alberta has finally made the big time."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Little Boat That Could

My two fans have been at me again. Although I might have three now. The Cereal Pimp apparently has become a reader as well.

I've been at an off-site this week. And by off-site, what I really mean is that my boss had his team meet in a building two blocks away from the building we normally work in. Off-site indeed. As a part of this off-site, we usually go out at night. One evening, we went out into the harbor and watched the yacht races. Twenty-two J-boats racing around Liberty and Governors Island. Now I know what you're thinking. Yacht races - Miami Vice size yacht, guys in pink, supermodels in bikinis. Let me tell you something. It was just like that. Wine, cheese, and nose candy for all. That and my two Diet Cokes. Miami Vice aside, this was a little too Hamptonish for me, but that's another story.

Well, to get out to the floating clubhouse, we had to take the yacht club's personal taxi, which is what you see here, Lil' Toot. Such a cute little guy. He's a little underpowered though. I wasn't sure we were going to make it back to the marina at one point. The Hudson's current is pretty strong. My faith was weak. Lil' Toot was strong. I made it back.

Monday, June 13, 2005


My brothers and my sister-in-law came to visit last week. One night, my brother who is married, went to the ballet. He had heard that some famous dancer was going to be performing in at the Metropolitan Opera House and he just had to go. So he dragged his wife there. My other brother and myself wanted no part of watching guys in tights with giant packages jumping around and twirling, so we went to see a movie.

Both of our events ended at roughly the same time and we decided to meet at Ellen's Stardust Diner, a couple of blocks north of Times Square. On a Saturday night. Now for those of you that haven't been to Ellen's, it's basically a diner where Broadway hopefuls are the servers. The servers practice their art, singing, in between orders. On Saturday nights, this place is packed. It took us an hour just to get our milkshakes and disco fries. They didn't know what disco fries were at first, that's a Tick Tock Diner specialty, but once I explained to them that disco fries are simply cheese fries with brown gravy on them, they made them for us. Brown gravy, cheese, and fries, mmmmmmmmm!

Well, while we were waiting for our food, we were of course subjected to the singing. Not only do these people sing, but they perform as well. My brother that went to the ballet's favorite was the guy singing, "I am Don Quixote, the Lord of La Mancha..." This particular server got up onto the booths and was singing while walking above everyone. For some reason, he would always stop directly behind me at the "Lord of La Mancha" part and give a couple of hip thrusts as he said La Mancha. Fortunately, my back was to him or my scalding hot gravy would have found a new home.

Now to the picture. This guy was sitting at the bar before we arrived and was there after we left. He loved Ellen's. He loved the singers. Every time someone started singing, he would get off of his stool and start tapping his foot and clapping. I kept looking for cameras because the guy looked like Borat from Da Ali G Show.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Wasting of the Gluten

You see that ice cream cone sitting on top of the trash can? The very sad looking cone with chocolate around the edges, the one that is begging to fulfill its purpose of being eaten. Oh delicious sugar and wheat flour, how crunchy, how crisp. I wanted to eat you. I really did. It's not as though I haven't been partaking of the forbidden gluten all weekend with my brothers in town. Cheesecake, pasta, bread, pizza, etc, the gluten was mine. However, it was not to be. I made a promise. No more gluten. Next time I'll have Erin leave her book full of cancer and lesions at home.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Nice Run

Accompanied by massive pain. Zane woke us all up at 5am this morning. Poor little guy had a cough. After Liz took care of him, we decided to make good use of the time and go for a quick run. Bad idea. The pain in my left knee came roaring back. Had to stop at one point. Maybe I should just go back to writing about the subway. Although if I did that, I'd be negative 90% of the time. (Last night I stood on the platform for 45 minutes.) Not sure what I'm going to do at this point about my running.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sweat Pants

Who knew that six weeks of not running wouldn't be enough to heal my broken knees? I thought six weeks would have been plenty. I ran twice this past weekend. Two miles each time. Once by myself and once with Liz and Zane. Each time, about a 1/2 mile into it, my knees started aching. My right knee especially bothered me. The stabbing wasn't as strong as it was going up Heartbreak Hill, but it was definitely uncomfortable. Surprisingly, after about two miles, when I was about to finish up, the stabbing turned into a dull ache. I'm not sure what this means. Are my knees sore because of non-use? Can I run through this? I don't really know. I'm going to run every other day this week for two to three miles each and see how it goes. I need to do this, as even my fat pants are getting too tight. I might need to start wearing sweat pants to work. Sweet elastic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Liz!

28 spankings for you!

I like exclamation points!

Oppressed Youth

Another extremely interesting and entertaining subway ride. I'm on my way home from school at about 9:30pm. School was ok, but I can already tell it's going to be a long summer. If I have to listen to another story from the NYSE specialist in our class, I'm going to be ill. Inventory management just isn't that exciting.

Ok, back to the subway. The 6 train to Grand Central. At 23rd Street, two young black guys get on, dressed interestingly enough, like hardcore punks. Torn up jeans, Megadeath patches, chains glued their pants and jackets, and of course the obligatory combat boots. However, they were carrying an 80s style ghetto blaster. As soon as they stepped on to the train and the doors closed, they both yelled, "Hey, if the mother f-ing hip hop guys can do it, so can we." Then they pressed play on their ghetto blaster and out forth spewed Testament and Slayer-like speed metal. The guys then proceeded to bob their heads in rhythmn to I'm not sure what and play their air guitars. All the way to Grand Central.

In addition, sitting three feet across from these metalheads was a sunburned family from Kansas, with their shorts up to their waists and Guggenheim posters in hand. Prior to our young friends boarding the subway, they were laughing, having a good time, telling everyone who would listen that "...they weren't from here..." (no kidding), and falling all over the train every time it stopped, started, or turned. Well, once Living Colour boarded, the fun stopped. They huddled, stopped talking, and started emitting tourist fear pheromones. You'd have thought they were back in Wichita at the height of the BTK madness.

For all you Family Guy fans out there, "What's CPR?"

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Blocker

Yes, I've been ignoring my three fans. I'm sorry. Finals and work have killed me the past two weeks. I'm back.

Yes, this picture is of shoddy quality. Yes, it's dark, it's fuzzy, and otherwise worthless. It was the best I could do. I needed to show you rush hour technique at Grand Central Station. It's called, finding a blocker.

During rush hour, there are thousands upon thousands of people going to trains, getting off trains, going to the subway, going to the street, getting something to eat, shopping, etc. All in a single building. In order to make your way effectively through the station to your post-station destination, without stopping every two steps as someone blocks your path, you must find a blocker, or better yet, several blockers.

The technique is thus, find a blocker(s) and stay on his/her hip (I don't discriminate). You choose a hip by determining which side the traffic perpendicular to your path is coming from. If it's coming from the right, you are on the left hip. From the left, on the right hip. Switching blockers is acceptable. Losing your blocker is traumatic.

FYI on my running. I had an MRI on my right leg yesterday. The nice MRI people gave me the pictures to take to my doctor. I oohed and ahhed at them. Unfortunately, I cannot interpret what is going on. I tried running 10 days ago and took about 15 steps before the rotting feeling in my right leg came back and it felt like my leg was going to snap in half. I'll try again next week.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Not to 160

Yes, in my effort to completely stuff my face, I've broken the 160 pound barrier. I haven't seen 160 for almost eighteen months. Good thing I'm not going to the beach any time soon. Four more glorious days of BBQ, sweets, and soda before I start working out again. Even though I'll barely get to know 160, it is nice to see an old friend. I even had to break out my fat pants.

As I'm sure you're all wondering about my knee, let me tell you, it feels great. Next Monday will be the test. I'm going to run a leisurely two to three miles and see how it goes. The plan for the next month or so is to run three or four times a week, with a total weekly mileage in the ten to fifteen mile range. I'm coming back slow. After a month of no pain, I'll up my mileage weekly following the 10% rule. If I'm drawn in the NYC Marathon lottery, I'll be right on schedule and will hit 35 miles a week right when I need to start my 16 week training program in the middle of July.

You'll note that I don't have a plan B.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Recovering from a marathon is full-time fun. In addition to Boston Creams, there is non-stop soda, non-stop candy (Jelly Belly jellybeans and white chocolate truffles), and mint 'n chip ice cream. It's like Christmas, but better because I'm not training for anything.

For two weeks, I will do nothing but eat and do nothing. Yesterday, I even played a game on my Xbox, something that I have not done in months. Saturday, I watched the NFL Draft live for five and a half hours. All done while enjoying all of the things I deprive myself of 48 weeks out of the year.

One week left. I'm going to make it count.

Friday, April 22, 2005

My Sincerest Apologies

To those that are revolted, please leave now. To those that are revolted, but are a little fascinated and unable to click away, stay a while and let me tell you what happens to a runner's toes.

What you see here are the toes on my right foot. For some odd reason, my right foot is slightly longer than my left foot. Genetics strikes again. This makes it a little tough when buying running shoes. I need enough room in my toe box on my right foot, but not so much room that the same size shoe on my left foot causes my heel to slip. Heel slippage bothers me much more than my toes being slightly uncomfortable and this is the result.

I've tried everything. I've worn two socks. I've used handfuls of vaseline. Thin socks, thick socks, socks without seams, etc. Nothing works. Any run over 16 miles and this is the result. Blisters on top of blisters on top of blisters. I once popped four blisters, each under the other. The beauty on my second toe from the right was actually underneath my toenail. That felt good yesterday. Sorry about the oozing. I just thought it looked cool.

I have a feeling I'm going to lose that toenail. It was pointing at a 45 degree angle up from my toe. Ah, running.

Oh, if you're thinking that my second and third toes from the left actually look like one toe that was split in half or my pinkie toe looks like a torpedo, I know, I'm a freak.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Liz catching Zane trying to see what's going on on our way back from the expo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Sweet Caroline

This is me on my way out the door to the bus that would take me to Hopkinton. Look at me. Look at my left knee. I'm so happy. I'm so excited. My left knee is the same shape and size as my right knee. I'm about to run Boston, arguably the most important marathon in the world, with the best athletes in the world, the creme de la creme. I'm about to stand shoulder to shoulder with men and women, where a 3:08 marathon is 4027th best out of 20,000. The 20th percentile. My last marathon, I finished 86th out of 4000, the 2nd percentile. Not to sound all elitist, but man, I was stoked to be around my people.

Let's start from the beginning. Liz, Zane, and myself woke up Sunday morning, packed, and took off for Boston. Three hours later, we showed up at The Omni Parker House Hotel. It's located across the street from King's Church and two blocks from The Commons. We stayed there last year and loved it. Once we were settled into our room, we left and began walking to The Hynes Center to pick up my bib and to see the expo. As we were walking, I noticed that I was sweating. Not because we were doing that hip shake that speed walkers do. I was excited, but not that excited. I was sweating because it was in the mid-70s. Liz was thinking the same thing. Training in sub-30 degree weather and then running in 70 degree weather just isn't something you want to do. The weather gods heard plenty of prayers from me Sunday.

It took a while, but we finally arrived at The Hynes Center (a good 25 minute walk). We picked up my number and then walked around for a bit. Not much, as the narrow aisles just weren't jiving with the stroller. By this time, it's close to 4pm and we hadn't eaten lunch. In my excitement to get to the expo and to get my number, I had neglected Liz's signs of famishment. We quickly stopped at a Japanese restaurant and had sushi, my marathon food of choice. Omega fatty acids, mmmmmmm. Well, I had sushi. Liz had a California roll and teriyaki chicken. We then just went back to the hotel and relaxed and eventually crashed.

We're back to Sunday morning and the very happy picture above. I walked out the door thinking that I was definitely doing a 3:30 marathon. Twenty-two minutes slower than my best, but still acceptable to me based on my whole not running for six weeks due to injury thing. The buses were waiting at the Commons and there were thousands of runners waiting. The volunteers were loading the buses 10 at a time and I still stood in line for an hour. Amazing. Once on the bus, I ate another banana and drank another Gatorade. Big mistake. I didn't realize that Hopkinton was so far away, especially in traffic. By the end of the bus ride, I was cursing out loud and demanding to be let off so I could use the facilities. I was desperate. An hour after my bus left, we arrived and I ran towards the nearest port-a-john. I wasn't to learn until later that on Marathon Monday, any tree will do.

Now, it was only 9:30am. Two and a half hours until the gun. I walked around, checked out the Athlete's Village. The line for massages were too long. The line for the port-a-johns was too long. The line to go in and sit down to listen to whatever bands that were playing was too long. I just decided to relax in the shade until I was scheduled to meet up with some friends that I'd met through the old St. George Marathon forum. I met up with them at 10:30, chatted for a few and was presented with my victory cigar from Tom Slick. I'm not a smoker, but I thought why the hell not, I'll wear this around my neck. It'll help distinguish me from the other runners. Tom and The King of Junk Miles, as Boston veterans, gave me some good advice on the course (1:40 first half and 1:50 second half), which I decided to follow. I mean, we're talking about a guy that ran a 1:27 last year and a 1:32 four weeks ago. 1:40 and 1:50 would be a snap. You may laugh now.

After we parted, I headed down to the starting line. I know you all have read a lot by now and if you're bored, you may leave, but I just want to get down as much as possible, while it is still fresh. I might edit this later and add more detail as it comes to me. At the starting line, I found my corral. It was about 300 yards back. I went in and just tried to relax. Well, I must have relaxed a little too much as I had to go again. I wasn't waiting in line for a port-a-john though, so I just looked around and saw some runners running out of some bushes next to the public library across the street. Good enough for them. Good enough for me. Sorry Hopkinton Public Library.

We're finally to the start. It's ten to noon. The guy who sings at the Patriots and Red Sox games sang the Star Spangled Banner, two F-18s flew over the runners, and then it was game time. The gun went off. Um, I didn't move for a solid minute. Then slowly the pack started moving forward. Two minutes later, I was at the starting line and the race was on. I was really pumped, but I didn't want to kill myself. A marathon is longer than you think and this marathon is a killer with all of those hills. I tried to curb my enthusiasm and succeeded somewhat.

The first 5k was truly incredible. Running through Hopkinton and Ashley, with people shoulder to shoulder, bands out, everyone screaming, AND the downhill was great fun. I felt tight cardiovascularly, which was not surprising due to my inactivity, but my legs felt good. Man, it felt so good just to run for the first time in four weeks. I LOVE THIS SPORT!!! My first 5k was 22:56 (7:24 average mile). I was right where I needed to be to do a 1:40 first half. I was worried though because my lungs and chest were bothering me, but again, I thought I could run through it.

Second 5k. Framingham. Still feeling pretty good. The victory cigar is bouncing all over the place, annoying me a little, so I just tuck it into my bib. Kids are lined up along the side of the road hoping for high 5s from runners. I slap a few hands. The kids would get so excited when they received a high 5. People were everywhere with oranges, wet naps, ice, water, gatorade, etc. The people of New England were out in force to support the runners. It was a sight to behold. I finish my second 10k in 23:48 (7:42 pace). You'll start to notice a trend here. Slowing down. Not much here. Maybe there were some hills. I don't remember.

Third 5k. I'm running next to a dude dressed like a lobster. A LOBSTER. I liked running next to him just because he was dressed like a lobster. The kids loved it. When I run Boston again, I need a cool costume. More on that later. I'm running through Natick. My Garmin shows 8 minute miles happening. Once in a while it says 6:50 miles. I have no idea how fast I'm running. The watch is really beginning to annoy me. Good thing I got it at a steep discount. Around this point, my cigar disappears. One minute it's flopping around my neck. The next, it's gone. The wrapper unwrapped itself. Mysterious. My favorite spectator of the course is in Natick (I think). A guy was in the back of his pick up truck, with a full sound system sitting in the bed belting out Neil Diamond. If you've ever been to Fenway, you know exactly what he was singing. "Oh, sweet Caroline (holds the microphone out and all the runners - "Oh Oh Oh"),Good times never seem so good." I smile just thinking about it.

Natick is nice, except for that kid telling me that the Wellesley girls were just around the corner. Four miles later and I still don't see the Wellesley girls. I'm wondering if all the hype is just hype. 24:36 - 7:54 pace.

Fourth 5k, the 1/2-way mark, and fifth 5k. It wasn't just hype. I run into Wellesley after cresting a hill and the noise is deafening. I mean, my ears were ringing. A mile of women screaming as loud they could. My calfs tingled, whatever that means. I must have seen 100 girls holding up signs asking to be kissed. I must have seen 50 guys run over and get kisses. I was not one of them. Liz told me afterward that she would have if she were me. I'll tuck that one under a pillow for later. I'm still feeling decent. I think I can do 7:50/8 minute miles. My fourth 5k was done in 26:11-8:30 pace and my half total time was 1:43:08-7:52 pace. I still thought that a 3:30 was in the works. 1:47 second half, no problem.

Then the wheels fell off. When I say they fell off, I mean that I didn't think I was going to finish. After Wellesley, I headed up a hill. About a 1/4 way up, disaster. My left knee, yes, my left knee, not my right knee or either hamstring, completely buckled under the intense pain. It's pain I've felt before, except magnified. My left ITB had decided to act up. It was a sharp, stabbing pain. I cried out and almost fell down. I skipped on my right leg for a few steps and then tried to keep running. I couldn't. I slowed down. I still couldn't. The pain was too much. I had to walk. The one thing that I swore never to do was to walk. I'm not trying to offend anyone here, but I just don't think that people should walk during a marathon. Did Phidippides walk? No, he ran until he delivered his message and then died. I've always had an elitist attitude towards those that walked. Gallo walkers, don't get me started. Last spring when my brother suffered a similar injury during the Flying Pig marathon, he didn't walk. He slowed down, but he didn't walk. I always thought that that was the epitome of toughness. Marathoning is about battling, not strolling.

I have been humbled. I have changed my mind. Battling through whatever challenges a person faces, just to finish, no matter how you finish, is now the name of the game. I have a new found respect for all that finish. I apologize.

I am now at the beginning of the hardest part of the course, the Newton Hills, which culminate at Heartbreak Hill. Bad time for a serious injury. To top it off, it's getting very very warm. I'm taking two cups of water at every aid station. One for replenishment, one for my head and neck. I resolve to finish and if I can to finish in under four hours. Fifth 5k in 28:19 - 9:08.

Sixth and seventh 5ks. I'm dying. Huge hills. The long hill between miles 17 and 18 is brutal. It never ends. I feel like I'm still on that hill. I wonder what I was thinking about ever doing a sub-3 on this course. There's no way. I'm running for five minutes, then walking for a minute. My knee feels like it's going to explode. I don't even know if I can finish. It's at this point, after being thoroughly humbled that I do something that I haven't done in a while. I say a little prayer and ask for help for myself. Just to get through the pain. Just to finish. I'm not saying that a miracle happened and all of the sudden I was my old self and was pain free. I was still in pain. I was still suffering. I still had to walk once in a while. However, the stabbing pain. The I see spots pain. It didn't happen again. For that I am thankful.

At the top of Heartbreak Hill, a hill that isn't as long as that other hill that I've given a name to, but won't reveal. This is a family site after all. At the top of HH, I was relieved because the uphill was over, but still had no idea how I was going to finish another 5.7 miles. It was frustrating. I run 5.7 miles to warmup usually and here I was wondering how I was going to get through it. Let me tell you. It was the crowds. If I had thought that Wellesley was impressive, Boston College was even more so. Three times as many people as Wellesley for twice the distance. A friend of mine is a BC alum. He told me that Wellelsey was overrated and the true fans were at BC. I believe him. It's at this point that Liz calls. She tells me I'm doing great and where she's at. It's a real pick me up. I want to puke. Sixth 5k - 32:27 - 10:28 pace; Seventh 5k - 34:56 - 11:15 pace.

Four miles to go. It's hot. It's dusty. I don't know if I can break four hours. The King is running next to me. Not the King of Junk Miles. The King. Dude in a foot tall crown and a red mantle. No shirt. People loved him. When people started to cheer him on, he'd lift his hand just like a king would waving to his people, similar to the beauty pageant wave. I ran with him for a while until I had to walk again. It was good to run with The King.

I'm on Beacon. I've passed the 40k mark. I have about 1.5 miles left and about 17 minutes to do it in. I don't walk again. The entire city is out to cheer all of us on. I hear someone in the crowd say that this group of runners is where the normal people are and he meant it in a complimentary way. I've been way too elitist. I know it. I turn onto Boylston and I see the finish line. It appears so close. I'm going to make it under four hours and I do. 3:58:36 - 9:06 pace. I've never run slower. I've never been so elated. What an experience.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


My dad is a marathoner. I remember waking up at 4am one morning when I was six or seven because we had to go and drop him off for a marathon. I think it was the Phoenix Marathon. Well, one day, I told him that I wanted to run too. The next morning he woke me up at 5am and I ran to the corner of Baseline and Rural with him. He then ran back home with me and then went off for the rest of his run. I've been hooked ever since. Well, this Monday, I reach the penultimate goal of my marathoning career, a mere two years after I decided to run marathons.

It's off to Boston. To be honest, I haven't thought about it that much. Qualifying for Boston last spring was 95% of the journey for me. Running Boston, beginning in Hopkinton, past Wellesley, through the Newton Hills, over Heartbreak Hill, past Boston College, and then on to Beacon and Boylston Streets will simply be the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, I will not be able to race Boston. My hamstrings and ITBs just haven't cooperated. I'll run it and enjoy it and then limp around next week with my finisher's medal around my neck.

I probably won't run Boston again until my father and/or siblings qualify. I'm going to savor it.

For those interested, you can go to the Boston Marathon and track me. The race starts at noon and there are checkpoints every five kilometers. Monday morning the home page will change and it will have a spot where you can plug in bib numbers to track athletes. My bib number is 4027.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Titan's Playground

I recently read Titan, Ron Chernow's biography of John D. Rockefeller. In it, I learned that I live twenty minutes from land that Rockefeller bought and set aside for nature's sake, the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It's 1200 acres of rolling hills, scenic overlooks, trails, and cows. Yep, cows. Cows in New York. Who would have thought?

Pictured here is Swan Lake, which we walked around. Beautiful spring day in NY. I can't wait to come back and run with the family.

Boston in 8 days.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


To all my gay readers: 335 Madison Avenue = a Bally's Sports Club where apparently management doesn't care if guys shower together.

So I went to the gym yesterday for my swim. It went well. There was someone there that was slightly faster than me. I had to struggle to prevent him from lapping me. It was a good workout. After my swim, I went over to the shallow area of the pool and water jogged for about ten minutes. Back and forth, back and forth. I stopped once I realized that I was irritating the bottoms of my toes. Don't need any blisters on top of everything else.

After I left the pool, I went to take a shower and to try to get as much of the nasty chlorine smell off of me as I could. Well, about midway through my shower, I felt like somebody was watching me. The shower walls are about five feet tall. So I turned around and there was this dude, peering over the wall from the stall next to mine. Just two beady eyes staring. I'm not sure if it was an invitation or if he was just admiring the view. I didn't ask. As I quickly left the shower, I noticed one other detail. There was another guy in the stall with Mr. Beady Eyes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Recovery is tough, especially when you just want to do what you love. In my case, run. I'm still not running, just swimming. Yes, the chlorine is still way too strong. I thought about running on Saturday, but then it was raining the entire day. I told myself I'd run Monday. However, I didn't. The reason I didn't was because on Saturday, I went to see Downfall, which by the way was a spectacular film. Warning: It's a German film with English subtitles. Bruno Ganz's portrayl of Hitler's last ten days was fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Anyways, because it was raining and because I hadn't brought an umbrella, I ran from my car to the theatre. 200 yards max. Ouch. My ITBs didn't hurt, but my hamstrings sure did. Again, running 26.2 miles after running only four or five times in the six weeks leading up to the race is going to be a very interesting experience.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Get this smell out of my nose. Now please.

I went for a swim this morning. I finally gave in and accepted that I'm running a marathon and I can't totally veg out even if I can't run. I swam a mile. 800 warm up and then eight 100 repeats. It felt good. The lanes were a little narrow, so it made passing people a little difficult, but once people realized that I swim like a fish, they would just get out of my way, which was courteous and appreciated. No 2mph treadmill walkers at this gym. And no, I refuse to wear a speedo. I figured out long ago that that is just too much Mike for the public to handle.

My body feels nice and tight, as it always does after a good swim. I haven't swam in about seven months and I forgot how good swimming makes me feel overall. I should incorporate it more into my marathon training. I probably won't though. Being the hardcore runner and all.

However, what I can't stand is this chlorine pool smell stuck in my nose. I sure hope I don't smell like this. It's a revolting smell. Make it go away. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Congratulations to my niece on her modelling debut. For those that want to see Lindsey's site, click here.

Pain Relief Free

No Bextra, no Advil, no anything. Just the sweet, sweet pain of throbbing hamstrings and stinging ITBs. Yes, both hamstrings and both ITBs. I haven't been pain relief free for months. This is what it feels like.

Yesterday, when I tried to run, I couldn't. I tried altering my gait. I tried going slow. Neither worked. I turned around and walked back to the gym. It was very sad. As I walked, I realized that the only way I'd be running Boston pain free was to not run until April 18th. So that's what I'm going to do. Boston will be a very slow marathon for me. That's ok. I'll just enjoy the sites and sounds. Maybe the Sports Guy will be on his front lawn with his buddies BBQing. If so, maybe I'll stop for some ribs.

One piece of good news is that I found a Bally's Sports Club right next to Grand Central. It has a pool. I'm guessing I won't have any run-ins with the Romanian mafia at this pool.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Sorry for the poor picture. I figured you'd rather have a picture of my own personal Nirvana versus an image I found on Mizuno's site. As I didn't have the one of the nice cameras with me, I had to use my camera phone, which is normally reserved for the subway alone.

Well, I ran yesterday. The third time in the past 2 1/2 weeks. Very very tight at first, even a little painful. I ran at 8 minute pace for four miles. At the end, I was euphoric. That runner's high never lets me down. However, I knew the true test was yet to come. How would I feel after a night of sleep, a night of muscles tightening without the pain relief of one Bextra and two Advil. Well, this morning has provided mixed reviews. Sharp pain followed by no pain at all. We'll see how this evening's run goes.

On to the Nirvanas. They are Mizuno's answer to the immensely popular Asics Gel Kayanos. I've run in Kayanos for the past five years or so and have loved every minute of them. Well, aside from the IXs. I didn't like the IXs very much. Too much non-mesh material on the upper. Well, Asics decided to mess with a good thing and fundamentally changed what the Kayanos are in its latest release, the XIs. Asics went for a more light-weight, cushioned design and cut down on the stability aspects of the shoe. As you can tell from reading about all of my injury woes, I need stability. So I went to my shoe guy and he introduced me to the Nirvanas. It was love at first feel.

The Nirvanas have the cushioned stability feel of the Kayanos, with a little bit more arch, and with the wide toe box of many Sauconys. Plus all that mesh. I love mesh. The only test now is to see how they hold up. My Kayanos have been great shoes. Good for at least 500 miles. If the Nirvanas can do the same, I won't be going back to Asics any time soon.

Looks like I've found a shoe to do Comrades in next year. Now if I can just convince Liz that going to South Africa next June is a good idea.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Damaged Goods

My right leg looks the same. This is what happens when you're a runner, you're injured, and you'll do anything to stay on your feet so you can run the grand-daddy of them all, Boston.

Yesterday, I went to one of my doctors. He has many stainless steel instruments of torture. One of them looks like a bicycle handlebar. He proceeded to dig this handlebar into the side of each of my legs. So much so that I could hear and feel it grinding into my bones. Yes, a small tear escaped my right eye. Liz almost cried when I showed her.

The theory is that by bruising the injured part of the body, that it will activate the healing process, thereby healing the original injury as well. It worked for me last fall. Whatever, I'm desperate at this point.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


It appears that my training for the next 3 1/2 weeks will consist of a week of running followed by a week of rest and so on. My hamstrings and both ITBs are flaring up. No speed records will be broken for me April 18th. I'll be spending a lot of time nursing my wounds. Fudgsicles and cherry chocolate chunk ice cream with chocolate sauce should do the trick.

I received my bib number for Boston yesterday. I'm 4027 and will be in the 4th corral, an enviable starting position if I was racing. As it is, I'll just try not to get in anyone's way. I've never run in a race with more than 5000 people, so a race with 20,000 should be quite the experience. As the date draws closer, I'll post a link where you can track me online as I race. I predict starting out in the low 7s, miles 10 through 20 being in the 8s, and back to the mid 7s to finish off the race. Around a 3:25 finish time. I wish it could have been different, but my body just wouldn't cooperate. I'm going to need to look at my training, maybe get a coach to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Squeezer

I wish I could have gotten a better angle at this shot, but the subway was shoulder to shoulder and I didn't want to make it too obvious.

The bottom line is that this older Eastern European man is the Master Squeezer. He took one look at how crowded the subway was and made his way towards two teenage boys, whose shoulders you can see. At the time, these two kids were talking to each other and there might have been three inches of space between them. The old guy turns around and butt first, just squeezed between them. The kids gave him looks that I wish I had on film. In response, he just put his head down and ignored them. Another NY subway moment.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Evil Stairs

Oh that I lived in a single story home and didn't have to take the subway. Stairs have been the bane of my existence for the past two days. I really shouldn't have run in my racing flats. I forgot about the pounding that my quads and calves take when I wear shoes that have less heel on them. Here's to hoping that my run today in my new Nirvanas takes some of this stiffness away. Either that or I'm going to be eating a lot of bananas this week.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Faking It

I faked my first race today. This entire week I haven't run, I've eaten nothing but junk food, I've taken back up my Diet Coke habit, I averaged four hours of sleep a night, and to top it off, I need to hold onto the railings going up and down stairs because my right leg cannot support me. To that end, I ran a half-mary in 1:32:24 (7:03 pace) today. I was expecting much much worse.

Although five minutes slower than my personal best at that distance, it is also the second fastest half I've ever run and I went into the race expecting to run 1:35 plus. All in all, not a bad race. I don't think I could fake a marathon though. My body was done at about the 7 mile mark. Seeing Liz and Zane at mile 9 gave me the charge I needed to finish strong.

I made two critical mistakes though. I ran my first mile at 6:12 to clear myself of traffic. Horrible idea. I was dead the rest of the race and was never comfortable. Mistake #2, I wore my racing flats. The two blisters on the bottoms of each of my big toes are still cursing at me. It's hard for me to break old habits. You race, you wear the fast shoes.

Speaking of shoes, I just returned from my shoe guy. I bought the new Mizuno Nirvanas for Boston. I'll write a review of them after I run in them for a week. It turns out my shoe guy is also a homeopath. He gave me this ruta stuff. Some herb that helps the ligaments. We'll see if ruta, Bextra, and my upcoming cortisone shot can get me through Boston. I have a feeling that something is seriously wrong with my right leg. The entire leg hurts, not just the ITB. I'm going to have a MRI after Boston and will likely need to take a few months off. It'll be back to the pool.

Friday, March 18, 2005


It's been a while. Here's the first of many pictures that I'll be sharing of our little Florida jaunt. Short story - we had a great time with our good friends and exceptional hosts the Wheelers. BBQ, Florida discounts at Disney, poker with one of the more entertaining Long Islanders I've ever met, all you can eat bacon, and of course El Tornado and Little D. It was a very good week. Now I just need to catch up on my sleep. A vacation from my vacation. I'll post more pics and tell more mini-stories in the coming days.

Now, back to our regular programming, running. I ran once. My leg is still very very sore. I have a race tomorrow, the Brooklyn 1/2 Marathon. How I fare there will determine how I approach the remainder of my training. Whether I just get through it or put in some serious miles. My thinking today is that I'm just going to have to get through it. I need some serious time off. Bad news for my weight, good news for my sleep time.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Except much more ferocious.

And yes, my 10:30 was pushed back an hour and I have some spare time.

Left Turn

A slight deviation from my recent rantings. I have a lot of time to read on the train. One of my favorite magazines is The Atlantic Monthly. This month's issue had a fascinating article on Talk Radio, specifically looking at The John Ziegler Show, a non-syndicated conservative talk show based out of L.A. Make sure to click on the highlighted words/phrases for the sidebar commentary.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Ok, maybe I have a bad attitude. Maybe I'm an elitist marathoning snob. Maybe I think that because I pay Crunch membership dues on top of my Bally's dues that I have rights that the Bally's only crowd doesn't have. Maybe, but probably not. More likely it is the location of the Bally's closest to my home, the hour of the day, and the poor management of the facility. Whatever it is, it just isn't working. Thankfully I only go to that gym about once a month. I feel sorry for Liz who goes to that gym much more frequently.

It just irritates me to no end that there aren't enough treadmills, that there is a 30 minute limit, and a sign-up sheet that people seem to sign the day before. To top it off, there isn't a single person running on any of the treadmills. They are walking. At an average of about 2.3mph. Here, I want to get in a brisk 7 mile tempo run and I'm waiting on people that do 1 mile a day, three times a week. I mean, what is even the point? You could burn those three miles worth of calories going to the grocery store or Costco. Don't take up precious real estate that isn't going to do you a lick of good.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I Don't Have Leprosy

It turns out that the city was looking for a water main near the South Ferry. The surveyors missed their target by oh, 15 feet or so and instead of locating the water main they were looking for, they drilled right into the 4/5 subway tunnel. Why am I telling you this? Because I am two stops up from where they were drilling and had to wait 30 minutes for the debris to be cleaned up so a train could get through.

This is what it looked like when the first train finally appeared. As you can tell, there's no way I'm getting on that train. I couldn't even get to the platform. There were lines outside of the gates. All during rush hour. Yep, the city and the MTA have got it going on. (Notice that I'm no longer capitalizing 'city'. It's pissed me off too much lately for me to take pride in it.)

Wait, it gets better. You might be asking why I did not walk to another subway line. Well, it was 15 degrees, the wind was blowing at roughly 30mph, and it was snowing/sleeting. To top things off, it was 40 degrees in the morning and I was wearing my spring coat and hadn't brought my earmuffs. I would have waited in that station all night.

I've noticed that I do a lot of complaining on this little blog of mine. Apologies. It's just this damn winter. Will it ever end?? I can't wait to go to Florida next week. My pasty white skin might blind a few Floridians, but then again, most Floridians are from the NE and are used to pale, ghostly people.

On the bright side, I've run the past two days. A slow six on Monday and a fast seven yesterday. And my leg hasn't fallen off yet. The hamstring twinges once in a while, but I've passed the wake up in the morning and get out of bed without falling down test. Dr. Silverman and Bextra get an A+ in my book.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Running this morning
The legs functioning smoothly
Dare I say comeback?

p.s. Get well dad. I want you on the roads again soon.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Old Man Winter

It's March 4th. It's 15 degrees and it's snowed three times in the past week. I didn't come to New York to trudge through the snow on my way to the train platform. (I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the MTA for raising the fares by 11%. $230 a month to freeze out on the platform. What am I doing here again??)

I've tried everything to appease the weather gods. I've said nice things about them. I've offered oranges to my butsudan. I've donated more to my church. I even attended a Wiccan ceremony in Bronx River Park. To no avail.

So, this is supposed to be about running or humorous pictures on the subway. I saw some interesting things on the subway earlier in the week, but my camera phone just wasn't quick enough. I won't describe the sights because I'm sure I'll see them again. And I can't talk about running because guess what? I'm still not running. And Chris, I will never join the dark side and become a cyclist. Daredevil motorcyclist maybe, but cyclist with spandex everything and funny shades, no way.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


The subway has been so crazy lately that I haven't been able to get any good shots without getting in a fight. Believe me, I was taking a huge risk here by taking this picture. I hope you all appreciate what could have happened to my face had I been caught. That Blair Witch photo of me to the left would have been replaced by a photo of Leatherface.

No comment on my continued stationary bike misery.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Million Dollar Wound

I now know how Forrest Gump felt when he was shot in the buttocks.

Yesterday was the first day in what is going to be a very long week. No running. It pains me just to write it. I looked at my two options (cycling and swimming), looked up all of the Crunches in Manhattan, and discovered that only one has a pool and it is on 10th Ave and 42nd St. Way, way, way out of the way. I sighed, put my goggles away, and packed my bag with normal gym clothes. Yes, it was time to ride the stationary bike.

OrigamiI now know why every treadmill, every stairmaster, and every elliptical trainer in the entire gym can have a person using them and yet not a single person is riding one of those stationary bikes. Let's just say that I had to make friends with this little guy here last night.

I stretched, I lifted, and then I made my way over to the stationary bike. Punching in 60 minutes and seeing that I was still only going to burn 600 calories was more than frustrating. I burn 600 calories running in 35 minutes. At twenty minutes, I was ready to get off, but the calorie counter prevented me. I did want to eat dinner. At forty minutes, I was through. The only thing that kept me on the bike was the American Poker Championship. Phil Ivey was making a major move and I had to see it through. Hopefully, there's something good on today as well.

Crotch GuardToday, I am prepared. I'm going to be using this wonderful product. Sorry about the poor quality of the image. It's the best I could find. It's a product that apparently cyclists use to prevent saddle soreness. Crotch Guard, you have a new customer.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Skinny Steven

My ITB has had it. Advil, heat, and ice aren't enough to conquer the gremlins that are screwing with my ITB. This past Saturday, I went out for a relaxing twenty miler. I had a light breakfast, had my running pack full of goodies, my watch was ready to go, Advil had been taken, and I had figured out how to get to the east side. (I bribed an east side 'friend' during the week for the password. I had no idea they were so easy.) In short, I was raring to go.

It was not to be. About four miles into my run, as I was descending a hill, the pain in my ITB broke past the Advil barrier that I had set up and caused my leg to falter under the pain. I didn't fall down. Thankfully. I stood there for about five minutes, hoping the pain would subside, so I could continue. It didn't. It was then that I made the gut-wrenching decision to call Liz. She was there in ten minutes. I'm still not over it. I only ran 31 miles last week. That's a two month low.

It's going to be even worse this week. A big fat goose egg. Yes, I'm taking a week off. I guess I'll cycle and/or swim to maintain my fitness. What I guess I'm saying is that my sub-three hour attempt at Boston is off. That will need to wait until I achieve a similar fitness that I had last spring. Hopefully, my ITB heals itself before I'm 35 or a sub-three hour 'thon just won't be happening.

I can't decide which exercise I'll be doing. I hate both of them. Pedalling those ridiculous stationary bikes gives me headaches just thinking about it and swimming in a gym pool makes my skin start to itch.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Faulty Genetics

One side of my family has given me the desire and the ability to run genes. The other side of the family has given me short hamstrings, inflexibility, and the little piece of bone that likes to rub on my ITB (iliotibial band - runs down the outside of the leg from the hip to the ankle) genes. I won't tell you which family gave me which genes because I'm not playing the blame game here. I'm just pissed off.

I can run. I can run far. I can run far fast. I love running far fast. It's a rush that isn't just physical. It's emotional and spiritual as well. I love this sport and how it completely shreds my body and builds it back up stronger than ever.

I don't love the bad genes that I've inherited from my goose-stepping German forefathers. If you haven't figured it out by now, my right hamstring and my right ITB are absolutely killing me. This is putting a damper on my sub-3 hour Boston Marathon attempt this April.

The thing is I hurt when I'm not running and I hurt for about the first two miles, but after that, I feel pretty good. Last night, I did a cut-back speed workout where I warmed up, then ran three one-mile repeats at 6:15 pace. It felt good. I didn't feel so good this morning. As a matter of fact, I could barely limp to the train station and almost missed my 5:14am train. The slip on the ice didn't help matters.

This morning, I ran a slow ten with my friend Ray. I was limping for the first couple of miles, but after that, again, I felt good.

What this is all telling me is that the distance isn't the issue. My speed is the issue. I need to get in some more speed work and tempo runs without snapping a muscle. I'm going to try a ten mile tempo run tomorrow. If I haven't posted by Saturday, you'll know it didn't go well.

One more thing. I'm going to see my sports doctor tomorrow. In order, these are the things on my shopping list:

- refill of my Bextra prescription (Yes, I know Bextra is a COX-2 inhibitor and that Vioxx was pulled off the shelf because of a link between COX-2 inhibitors and heart failure. Do I care? Frankly, no. Just kill the pain and stop the inflammation.)
- use his medieval stainless steel instruments of pain on my hamstring and ITB
- electro-stim, yes please
- a cortisone shot in my ITB
- a cortisone shot in my hamstring

Can't wait! I love going to the good doctor.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Garmin 301

This is the Garmin 301 Forerunner, a GPS watch and heart rate monitor. Sorry for the blurry view of the heart rate monitor. I'm not enough of a photographer to have two things in focus at the same time. I should have had Liz do the honors. Some of 301's features include total distance, pace, customizing laps by distance, elevation, etc. It's a very cool toy for the hardcore runner or cyclist.

This past Saturday, I used the 301 on my long run. It's a good thing I had it, as Liz wasn't able to drive me up past Armonk. I had to just leave the house and run willy nilly. I decided to head towards the east side (Mamaroneck, Rye, Harrison). I didn't really know where I was going as I'm unfamiliar with the east side. Let's just say that I'm the one who lives on the other side of the tracks and the east side is where people like to take pity on us west siders. I think they gave me a free turkey last year for Thanksgiving. God bless the east siders.

Well, I didn't really end up on the east side. I ended up in New Rochelle and when I tried to head east, I actually ended up going northwest to Scarsdale. The east side must have one of those leprechaun gates where you can only head east if you have a magic feather.

Scarsdale isn't bad, but I was only at the eight mile point. I had fourteen miles left. I didn't have a lot of choices, so I had to head to where I belong. That's right, White Plains. I ran all around White Plains, up many a hill until I hit the sixteen mile mark and I could return home with a twenty-two miler under my belt.

Here's just a glimpse of the output of the 301. Elevation, distance, and pace. You can click on any spot of the chart and it gives you precise information on each of these three measurements. It's sweet!

The green line is the elevation and the blue line is my pace. As you can tell, I went up and down a lot of hills. I'd see a hill and I'd charge up it. I call it my long strengthening run. All those hills contributed to a much slower than normal pace (8:31 avg), but that's ok, I feel much stronger today.

It also gives you a map of where you've been. I can see where I began heading in the wrong direction, but I swear I turned right at Wilmot. Stupid east side leprechauns.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Subway Singer

I've just been lucking out recently. My favorite subway preacher last week and my favorite subway singer this week. When I say that this person is my favorite subway singer, that's saying something. There's some serious vocal talent riding the subways. This woman walks through the cars, using her cane to keep the beat, and sings gospel and R & B tunes.

I would have given her a quarter, but my hamstring hurt and the multi-tasking of reaching for change and taking a picture at the same time was too painful. I had a tough choice to make and I went for the picture.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Big Harry

The beauty you see to the right isn't Big Harry. I'll introduce him later. Yesterday, I ended up going to Delaware for the day. For work. I know. You all thought that I didn't work. Mike just runs, goes to school, and picks up a paycheck. The paycheck comes from a magical place that Mike discovered, but refuses to share.

Sorry to destroy the dream. I actually work for a living. This is proof. I had to go and check out a bunch of these things. Egeneras are my favorite piece of engineering of all time. Shiny blue lights. I'm not sure why Sun, Fujitsu, and IBM haven't gotten their acts together. I don't care about compute capacity, MTBF, or price points. Just give me the shiny blue lights. Egenera has my business.

Now on to the title of this post. My hamstring has really been bothering me. Due to my all day trip to lovely Delaware (chemical plants and call centers, gotta love 'em), I was unable to run. Probably a good thing as my right hamstring was twice as big as my left one. Liz named my right hamstring Big Harry due to its enormous girth. The thing is swollen. Not sure where the Harry part came from. Maybe she just thinks it is a funny name.

I asked Liz to help Big Harry out by taking a baseball and jamming it into my swollen hamstring and then rolling it up and down. Never has pain felt so sweet.

Stay tuned for the Garmin 301 review.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Reservoir Dawn

Reservoir Dawn II
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
This is why I run. I see things that few others do. The first time I ran the Central Park loop and I ran by the reservoir, I was awestruck.

Yesterday, at 5am, I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. As I was planning to go and photograph The Gates later in the morning anyway, I decided to just wake up then and go photograph the dawn as well.

It was well worth it.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Holy Running Utility Belt

Utility belt
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
This is my utility belt. I use it on training runs over 20 miles, which is to say that I only use it about 14 times a year. This puppy holds two 22 oz water bottles, has a big pocket in the back in which I carry my phone, has two zippers above the water bottle holders that can carry two Clif-Shots (running candy with caffeine) in each of them, has a pocket in front that holds my ID, credit card, $20 bill, and my house key, AND as I discovered yesterday, has two loops in the front that you can hang things from, such as gloves. It wouldn't surprise me to discover at some point that this thing has a rocket booster button. It's that impressive.

Yesterday's 20 miler was my first 20 miler in almost a year. Last summer's ITB injury kept me from training for a fall marathon. As I hate loops and out and backs, Liz agreed to drive me to a point 20 miles away from our house and drop me off. It's a lonely feeling when you see that car pull away and realize that you have 20 miles to go before you're home.

I started off slow, running at about an 8:45 pace. After about three miles, I was feeling pretty good, so I picked it up and ran 7:30s to the ten mile mark, which I completed in 1:18. I'll have to post a photo slide show sometime because the scenery is breathtaking. Upper Westchester makes me feel like I'm heading to the Weber's cabin for some snowboarding. At ten miles though, the scenery ends as I enter White Plains.

Now White Plains is a nice place. My son was born there. I've had great sashimi in White Plains. My favorite running store, Westchester Road Runner, is in White Plains. But, it's no Armonk, Scarsdale, or Bronxville. Plus, the lights. I hate stopping.

As I left White Plains, at the 14 mile mark, I was still feeling strong and was confident that my second 10 miles would come in around 1:10. The running gods chose otherwise.

At mile 16, my legs locked up. They were done. I could hear them crying, "Stop. Please stop." My right hamstring in particular felt that it was going to snap and roll up like a window shade at any moment. I took this as a sign to slow down. My last four miles were torturous. 9 minute miles, maybe slower. It's all still hazy. I still ran a negative split, but barely at 1:17.

Can't wait to do this again next week.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Piano Boy

piano boy
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
My son likes to scream. Not cry. Scream. He once noticed that whenever he made a noise in his parents' room, that the baby monitor in his room would pick up the sound and the monitor in our room would light up. He likes it when things light up. A lot. Now he thinks that whenever he screams, things should light up. So he spends his mornings screaming.

I am only home in the mornings a few days a week and think it is cute, especially when he screams and plays his piano at the same time. (I think he's going to be the next Buddy Holly.) His mother thought it was cute, but now turns on the very loud dishwasher to drown out his screams. Ominous, I know.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ghost Train

ghost train
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
Usually I write about my adventures on the number 4 train. However, just to show you I'm not a line bigot, I had to take a picture of the W train, which I also ride. I haven't ridden on it in a few months and it was nice to see an old friend, even if that old friend is still using cars from the 70s, unlike the 4 train and its sparkling new cars.

The thing about the W train is that it is always empty. Last night, I was one of about five people on the entire train. I had an entire car to myself and this was during rush hour. It's like everyone knows something that I do not.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

To Protect the Unclean

My clean hands
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
I won't be using any names. However, to protect me, I've taken a picture of my hands to show that the experience I'm about to share, was not in fact about me.

I went running at 6am today with some friends. Our typical 6am Wednesday and Friday loop around Central Park. It was gorgeous. 43 degrees and the park was full of people enjoying it. Walkers, runners, and cyclists (by the way, I hate cyclists) were all out in full force.

One of the guys told us he had a pizza smothered in tabasco sauce right before he went to bed. I knew he was in trouble. You just don't eat that much cheese and hot sauce for dinner the night before an early run. I learned that lesson the hard way at last year's Queen's Half-Marathon.

We're running and he's farting like mad, so we all make sure we're staying in front of the guy. No need for more than one of us to suffer. At the 3/4 point, we pass the Boathouse and he sees that the restrooms are open. He bolts and we decide to wait. About ten minutes later, he comes out with a horrified look on his face and tells us that that was the most disgusting thing he's ever done. I'm thinking that the restroom must have been really dirty. That wasn't the case at all.

The restroom was out of toilet paper and he didn't find out until after he'd done his business. You may shiver now.

He had three choices: just pull his shorts up, use his clothing, or use his hand. He chose his hand. He proceeds to flush the toilet about ten times, then dips his hand in the toilet water and uses the water to clean himself. Rinse and repeat. I feel dirty just writing this.

All I gotta say is I'm never shaking his hand again. Ever.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Subway Preacher

4 train preacher
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
I see this guy every other week or so. He takes the 4 train, reads from the Bible and includes his own personal commentary. Then at Wall St, he says, "Well, I need to go to work now, just like the rest of you. God bless."

He's one of those fire and brimstone kind of preachers. Done in a kind of sing-song voice, where his last word always trails off into the ether. Today's preaching included no idol worshipping, no fornication, and no masturbation. My favorite comment was, "...and if you're masturbating, you better stop!"

Most people ignore him. Some laugh at him. Once in a great while, he'll get an "Amen, brother". I've always wanted to get an "Amen, brother." Maybe I'll turn from my wicked running blog ways to the goodness found in the preaching blog. My first sermon is thus: "My message today kids, is if you're masturbating, you better stop!"

Monday, February 07, 2005

Rotting and Burning

I really shouldn't be posting that my right leg feels like it's rotting from the inside or that my upper chest feels like it's on fire, but oh well, I'll fight that battle with Liz once she reads this. She's not very fond of me running when I'm sick and can barely walk. We've had some of our best brawls when I've insisted on running in minus 10 degree weather when I have a fever. If you haven't figured it out yet, don't let me beat you over the head with it, just look at the picture of me to the left, with my tough as nails beanie with a tassle, and you'll figure it out.

So I ran this morning, on my rotting leg, with my burning lungs. Man, it was great!! With school on the weekends, which is over, thank the Maker, I was only able to run five days a week. Last week, due to that freaky sleet storm, I only ran 35 miles. Now, that my Ops and Global Perspectives classes are complete, I have my weekends again. Let me tell you that I am looking forward to my 20 miler through Armonk, Valhalla, White Plains (ok, maybe I am not looking forward to running through White Plains), Scarsdale, and finally home to you know where.

Back to this morning's run. A brisk 6 miler on the treadmill, averaging about a 7:30 mile on a 1% incline. Today, I was able to stand it. It being running on the treadmill. Usually, I want to shoot myself when I'm on that thing, but the Super Bowl highlights were on and it was bearable. Good thing it wasn't Judge Judy or The Simpsons. Falling off the treadmill is never a fun experience. Thankfully, Liz has only seen that happen to me once.


Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.

Just a tease.

Credit to Liz for this great photo.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Instant 4 Train Classic

subway guy
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.
Balding white guy with dreads tied in a bow. Thank you camera phone.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ready to run

My Pearl Izumi beanie. Too bad you can't see the nordic tassle. I told you. I'm hardcore.

Ready to run
Originally uploaded by PassTheChips.

Slurpee Running

I'm training for the Boston Marathon. Yes, I qualified. I ran a 3:08:41 last May at The Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. Today's training called for an 18 mile run. I've been doing my long runs on Fridays, as I've had school on Saturdays and Sundays for the past six weeks. This morning, I woke up at 4:30am and took the 5:14 train in to meet my buddy Ray. had listed a 30% chance of snow/sleet this morning. I'm a gambler, I liked those odds. The past four weeks of running in sub-zero weather had me thinking that the weather gods were going to be on my side for once. It was not to be. I stepped outside the station at 48th and Park and it was sleeting. It wasn't that cold, but I was not very excited to run in sleet.

When I saw Ray at the gym where we change into our running gear, we both looked at each other and said, "What the hell are we doing?" Did we reconsider? Nope. We're hardcore and we wanted the respect of the security guards who guard 277 Park as we walked out and when we came in drenched from snow. That's the best part of the run. Walking back into the building and having the 400 lb security guards giving us an attaboy. It makes it all worth it.

So we take off for Central Park, where Ray will be running 8.5 miles (6.1 mile loop, plus the 1.2 miles there and back) and I'll be doing 18 miles(two 6.1 mile loops and two 1.7 mile loops, plus the 1.2 there and back). I brought my trusty fanny pack, with the 24 ounce water bottle (which happened to freeze when I used it two weeks ago), and three Clif-Shots, from here on out known as candy with caffeine, mmmmm.

We get to the park and the roads are closed off. Good for us, no cars to contend with. We make our way to the main road within the park and bam, we're sliding all over the place. It's still sleeting by the way. There are at least two inches of sleet on top of the road. Do we stop. No way. We're hardcore. We're collectively wearing at least $1000 worth of running gear. We keep going, slipping, sliding, all over the place. To make my very long and very boring story shorter, let me just say that I ran at least 9.5 miles. Step, slip, step, slip, step, slip. Oh, you noticed that my 18 mile run turned into technically 8.5 miles? I couldn't take the damn slipping anymore. I'm a wuss. Only 41 miles this week. So much for my sub-3 hour Boston attempt.